Family Dollar Stores is recalling 1.8 million toy dart gun sets following reports of two boys choking to death on the darts, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
The two boys who died were a 9-year-old from Chicago and a 10-year-old from Milwaukee. The Chinese-made toys were imported by Henry Gordy International Inc. of Plainfield, N.J., which has refused to recall the darts, the CPSC said. The dart sets were sold exclusively at Family Dollar, the CPSC said.
While some companies will drag out a recall and be less than eager participants, it is unusual for a company to refuse to work with the CPSC to get the product out of homes.
"At CPSC, we traditionally start with the U.S. manufacturer or importer as the responsible party to negotiate a recall with," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told Consumer Ally. "In this case the manufacturer refused to conduct the recall, so Family Dollar stepped up to the plate and agreed to give affected consumers a refund."
Family Dollar said it would refund anyone who purchased the toys, which were sold between September 2005 through January 2009 for about $1.50. Family Dollar sold the "Auto Fire" toy dart target sets between September 2005 and January 2009.
"Family Dollar takes the safety of our customers very seriously," company spokesman Josh Braverman told Consumer Ally. "The CPSC asked us to voluntarily issue a recall for this product that we haven't sold in our stores in more than a year. We agreed as a way to ensure that the customers who purchased the product were aware of the potential issues."
The toy guns that fire the suction cup darts are either orange and yellow or blue and yellow. The sets come with eight orange darts and a small dartboard.
If you have one of the sets in your home, take it away from children and throw it away or bring it to a Family Dollar store for a full refund.
For more information, call Family Dollar at (800) 547-0359 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Henry Gordy had recalls of toy figures in 2007 and magnetic dartboard sets in 2008 -- both sold exclusively at Family Dollar. Braverman did not respond to a question about why Henry Gordy wouldn't participate in this recall.
Consumer Ally called two phone numbers listed for Henry Gordy on Sunday and both were disconnected.
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